A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Mighty Jack and Zita the Spacegirl is a graphic novel that brings together two popular series by Ben Hatke that blend fantasy and sci-fi elements into one. The story stands pretty well on its own, but newcomers may have trouble at first figuring out who is who. Reading the original two individual series first will deepen understanding of the characters and appreciation of appearances from old friends. Several story lines and friendships that are getting complicated make it best for big kids and up. There are lots of scary monsters and fantasy creatures, characters are frequently in danger, and some real-world violence shows officials punching a captive in the stomach. Other fantasy violence includes battles with skeleton monsters and the ogre-like giants trying to invade Earth. All the kids are good role models, especially for teamwork, bravery, and loyalty. Messages are positive about continuing to try to do your best and make the best decisions you can, even when things go wrong.
- Parents say
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What's the story?
When giants threaten to take over Earth and destroy humans once and for all, MIGHTY JACK AND ZITA THE SPACEGIRL, along with their motley assortment of family and friends, will face their toughest challenge yet. Piper's been captured and thrown in jail, but he manages to get them a message that the only way to defeat the giants is to enlist the help of the elves of Alfheim. Maddie summons the dragon Phelix to open a portal for them, and the heroes find themselves in the In Between. Finding the entrance to Alfheim might seem impossible, but fortunately the goblins are as loyal as ever to Lilly, Joseph's still got his magic cape, and Zita's found a new jump crystal. Can the gang back on Earth hold the giants off long enough for the heroes to gather an army capable of defeating the giants once and for all?
Is it any good?
This bringing together of author and illustrator Ben Hatke's two popular graphic novel franchises is sure to please fans who've eagerly awaited more adventures for Jack and Zita. They'll also be delighted to see how Mighty Jack and Zita the Spacegirl brings together so many old friends from both series. Drawing this time on elements of Norse mythology, Hatke's lively, colorful illustrations propel the action and keep the pages turning while the sometimes funny, sometimes poignant dialog rounds out the story and makes the characters believable.
If you haven't read either the Jack or the Zita series, it might take a while to figure out who's who. Hatke doesn't spend much time establishing characters here, and the cast is a big one. Speaking of characters, a lot of delight comes from minor, oddball characters like the robots, the goblins, and an oddball pair of pipe dwellers who all add charm and humor to the cast. Multiple story lines, scary fantasy creatures and intense action make it best for big kids and up.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the violence in Mighty Jack and Zita the Spacegirl. Was anything too scary for you, or did it make the story more exciting? What makes you feel better when you're scared?
What do you like about Jack, Zita, and their friends? Who's your favorite character? What do you like about them?
What do you like or love about graphic novels? What are some of your favorites? What kinds of stories make good graphic novels?
- Author: Ben Hatke
- Illustrator: Ben Hatke
- Genre: Graphic Novel
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Superheroes, Adventures, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires, Space and Aliens
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: First Second
- Publication date: September 3, 2019
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 8 - 12
- Number of pages: 272
- Available on: Paperback, Nook, Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: December 29, 2019
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